Government abandons plans to outsource and offshore NHS Prescription Pricing Division

The Department of Health has rejected a KPMG options appraisal in favour of a ESSU appraisal prepared for UNISON Northern, thus saving 2,500 jobs. The Department of Health has confirmed that the planned outsourcing and offshoring of the Prescription Pricing Division of the NHS Business Services Authority will not be progressed. The PPD’s Capacity Improvement Programme will continue. It is a significant victory for the 2,500 staff and UNISON’s Northern Region, in particular the strategy and approach adopted.

The NHSBSA engaged KPMG to prepare an options appraisal which resulted in the outsourcing plan. UNISON engaged the European Services Strategy Unit to prepare an alternative appraisal and assess the implications of the KPMG report. The ESSU worked closely with shop stewards from the northern based PPD centres. The NHSBSA recommendation and both reports were submitted to the Department of Health in late 2006. The Minister for Health, Andy Burnham, stated that the “DH has now completed their review and has decided that the NHSBSA proposal should not be progressed” (April 24 2007).